5 Ways to Make Your Temple Visits Sensory-Friendly

Visiting temples is important for Hindus. Temple is a sacred place where Hindus go to worship. Hindus typically visit the temple at least once a week. Furthermore, on Fridays, all Hindu temples hold a special prayer. Even though it is crucial for Hindus to visit the temple often, it can also be challenging because of sensory overload for people with sensory sensitivities since temples are a sensory-rich environment. Continue reading to find out ways to create a sensory-friendly temple visit.

Infographic highlighting 5 ways to make a temple visit sensory-friendly.

Go to the temple during less busy hours

You can avoid being overwhelmed by a crowd or many people by going to the temple during less busy hours. Therefore, going during a less busy hour, you can help avoid stress and enjoy peaceful prayer. To find out which hours are less busy, call the temple office. Let them know you are looking to worship when the temple is less busy.

Request a special prayer

It is possible to request a special prayer at your local temple. When you reach out for a special request, make sure to let them know what helps. Share sensory-friendly resources from this website. Give suggestions as to what make you comfortable. For example, can they dim the lights? Have no music in the background?

Bring sensory tools

Oftentimes, people who have sensory sensitivities experience stress in both unfamiliar and familiar settings. Sensory tools helps people of all ages, not just children. It is especially important to bring essential things to the temple since some prayers can take a long time. Consider bringing along:

Allow yourself to take breaks

It is important to allow your body to take breaks. People are sometimes hesitant to take breaks because they are worried about what other people might think when they see them taking breaks often. However, it is important to prioritize your body and allow yourself to take as many breaks as you need.

An article titled, “An Ashram for Autism” by Hannah Sheldon-Dean (2022) mentions that Hindu places have been havens of quiet reflection time away from the distraction caused by the outside world. It was further mentioned how it was believed that a peaceful atmosphere might help people be less stressed and create a less stimulating environment 1. Therefore, if your local temple has a quiet space or private rooms, you can go there and take some time for yourself. For example, use the break for private prayer or meditation. However, if your temple has no quiet or private room, even going outside for some fresh air can help manage sensory overload.

Ask your temple for sensory-friendly prayer times

Many people are surprised that so many people experience sensory sensitivity and sensory overload. You can help! Ask your local temple for sensory-friendly prayer time. Some things that sensory-friendly prayer times can include:

  • Limited number of devotees
  • Dim lights – avoid fluorescent lights
  • No music or only calm music
  • Provide noise-cancelling headphones
  • Avoid using microphones
  • Light fewer lamps
  • Offer a quiet room
  • Provide sensory kits
  • No scents

Creating a sensory-friendly temple visit makes people feel comfortable and included.

Interested in gaining more knowledge on ways to be sensory-friendly?

Then, learn more in these blog posts:

Create a More Welcoming World and Tame Sensory Overload

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  1. Sheldon-Dean, H. (2022). An Ashram for Autism. Child Mind Institute. https://childmind.org/article/an-ashram-for-autism/
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